Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

It's time. I'm in holiday mode. I know, it's not even December yet but I can't help it! I love Christmas and everything that comes along with it. Last week I received an email asking if I could contribute a holiday recipe for the Kitchissippi Times (my neighborhood paper) and this is what I decided on. A little twist on my favorite, and most popular, Christmas cookie - cranberry shortbread.

Cranberry Shortbread
adapted from Martha Stewart's Icebox Shortbread
makes 48+ cookies
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
With an electric or stand mixer, beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth. With mixer on low speed, add flour, mixing just until a dough forms. Stir in cranberries

Divide dough in half; place each half on a piece plastic wrap. Gently roll each into a 1 1/2-inch-diameter log. It will be about 12 inches long. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap logs; with a serrated knife, slice dough 1/4 inch thick Arrange slices, about 1 inch apart, on baking sheets.Bake until lightly golden around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Somewhere along the way I came across a super helpful tip. I can't remember where I saw or heard about this trick, but I've been using it for years. When storing a log of cookie dough in the fridge or freezer, put it in an empty paper towel roll that you've cut down the middle. It helps to keep the round shape and prevents the flat side you might get after it rests for awhile.

And here is the final result. Delicious, tender, buttery shortbread. These cookies are dangerous things. Most Christmases I make so many of them that I don't want to eat them. This being my first batch in almost a year, I was all over them. Shortbread is my ultimate Christmas cookie.

There will be at least one more variation of this recipe showing up here in the weeks to come. 

What is your favorite Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) treat?


  1. Those look delicious. I was googling variations on shortbread cookies and found your post. Do you think orange zest would have been a good addition? I make the tried-and-true shortbread (using my grandmother's recipe) every year so wanted to add a little variety this year. I think I will give this a try.

    1. I think orange zest would be a great addition!

  2. Making these today for a cookie exchange and found dried orange peel in pantry. Ground it up with my sugar to make it powdered... smells so yummy! Orange icing sugar. :)

  3. Making these today for a cookie exchange. Found I had dried orange peel in pantry so while making my icing sugar I ground some to go in. Orange icing sugar, smells so good!


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